That April in Santa Monica
by Melody DeBlois
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Madison receives acclaim for running a talent agency for people with disabilities, but she doesn't know how to take care of herself. When her altruism becomes life-threatening—a matter of either develop healthy habits or die—she joins a reality TV show that pairs her with hot, raven-haired Brandon. He is witty, sexy, and her teacher. That makes him off limits.
After a successful run on a soap opera, Brandon stepped away from empty fame and now focuses on his work as TV's most noted health teacher. He has one fast rule—never fall for a student. But when he meets Madison, their chemistry is combustible. There's no hiding their conflict or their attraction, especially when it's all caught on film.
On the beach, Madison started to gather energy, so that when they went into downward-facing dog, he discovered, with her well-earned agility, she didn’t bend her knees as usual.
“Madison, you’re touching the ground!”
She beamed up at him. “I am!”
She was unimaginably beautiful. The way the sun seized the golden streaks in her red hair, the way the natural wave framed her angular face, distracted him. He had his fantasies about her, and this was one of them. The two of them by themselves on the beach, doing yoga. The only problem? The usual. They were not alone.
Warrior pose brought with it an expression of victory on her part, and child’s pose caused her to fold up within herself like a flower after sunset. No woman had ever done the positions with as much raw sensuality. Being with her made him, the yogic practitioner, forget how to move and how to breathe.
This day she stood taller and bent farther. The muscles in her arms supported her with effortlessness. Even her hands seemed stronger than before. She balanced herself with greater ease, like a goddess surveying her kingdom by the sea. Brandon closed his eyes against the gush of erotic pictures she evoked in him. He had been with her too long, yet not long enough.
When they finished, she purred, “I just might learn to love this.”
“You did well.”
“Do you think it was the fancy yoga outfit?”
He shook his head. “Nah, I think it was the woman.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Born in California, award winning author, Melody DeBlois follows the sun. When she isn’t swimming laps, she’s writing sweet and sassy romances. Her heroines are self-reliant and smart and her heroes are kind by nature and love dogs. She lives in California during the summer and spends winters in Arizona with her husband. She has plotted her novels while hiking the beach or trekking across the desert. Her most treasured possession is family.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Melody-DeBlois/e/B07XBV66Y8/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
1) What is your idea of how to spend romantic time with your significant other?
I would want to spend time holed up with my love in a charming bed and breakfast, with windows that open to the smell of the sea and the soft blowing mist. True happiness would be walking hand in hand in the evening while the sun sets in a flurry of golds and reds. My favorite time, the most romantic, would be when the ocean becomes dusky blue, mirroring the sky, and with no one else around, we kiss.
2) When you start a new story, do you begin with a character, or a plot?
It depends on the book. The first novel I wrote didn’t begin with a character or a plot. I just sat down and wrote. No need to say how that turned out. That April in Santa Monica began with a man I saw hosting a reality TV show. He helped people who were ill with his Ayurveda teachings. He was sweet and kind, but he was also a little preachy and staunch, and I wondered what would happen if he fell in love with a patient who was the total opposite of him. My current WIP Undercover in Venice Beach started with a question. How would a poet from the Romantic era of Keats and Byron react to the text language of today? I pitched that idea to an editor at Source Books, and she asked that I turn it into a contemporary romance. One brainstorm led to another and it turned into the plot it is today.
3) Which musical would you say best exemplifies your life – and which character in that musical are you?
I couldn’t come up with a musical that exemplified my life, but I could see my heroine, played by Emma Stone, of course, as The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Like the Molly, Madison rescues people in need of her help. She’s strong-willed and courageous and takes on the good fight to improve her ailing health to get back to work as an agent for people with disabilities.
4) Who’s your favorite horror villain and why?
There are so many good villains in past and present fiction. The vain, self-absorbed Dorian Gray, Count Dracula, Dr. Jekyll’s Mr. Hyde, Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca, Annie Wilkes in Misery. To me, the most terrifying villain of them all is the killing psychiatrist cannibal created by Thomas Harris, Hannibal Lector. I find that most villains believe that all the evil is done in the name of right. Annie Wilkes, she was just a fan who wanted something of her favorite writer. She wouldn’t take no for an answer. Mrs. Danvers was acting on behalf of Rebecca, whom she loved. But Hannibal Lector is the personification of evil, and yet he could realistically exist. I think that’s what makes him scarier than all the rest. My favorite, though, is the villain in a Gothic horror novel that took me ten years to write. I used that pure evil element and combined it with a man who believed he was in the right. There were times while creating Moloch, I had to shove the manuscript in a drawer and not take it out until I was over my fear.
5) Do you have an historical crush and if so, who is it?
Yes, when I was young, I read The Great Gatsby and fell in love with Scott Fitzgerald. I wrote little love notes in the margins, telling him how much I adored him. Passages of his prose fascinated me. For example, what could have been a static scene is full of action: “He walked through a high hallway into a bright, rosy-colored space, fragily bound into the house by French windows at either end. The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside, that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding cake of the ceiling, and they rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as the wind does on the sea.” I read it now, and I’m still awed.
6) Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?
I used to want to write a time travel about a music festival in 1969 called Woodstock. To me, not enough time had past to make it history. About a week ago, a news story surfaced about the couple on the cover of the album recorded during the festival. The lovely couple has been married for umpteen years with scads of grandchildren. I thought what if, for some reason, these soulmates didn’t get together? What if one of them got the chance to return to that time in history? I’d call it, By the time I got back to Woodstock. It would be fun to research and to write.
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